It was a packed house for the community radio station’s meet-and-greet for volunteers and program pitches and every man and his dog was there.
The station’s resident dog, KC, shuddered but bore up bravely after a belly dancer trod on his tail during the whirling veil dance.
Dancer, Caryn Love, stepped out to perform for the first time in 42 years.
“It was very nerve-wracking but it’s now being very exhilarating,” she said.
“The audience was smiling and they were clapping along.”
Dancer, Gigi Barbe, made the electric energy of the room crackle by ululating, making an encouraging, Arabic trilling howl.
“I think the audience looked at me with weird eyes like ‘What’s she doing?’” she said.The performance was in the spirit of 2 Dry’s event because it was about giving to the community instead of feeling self-conscious.
“It’s to make Broken Hill more alive, more interested in one another and seeing what other people are doing and I hope that 2 Dry FM is very successful as a result of the whole afternoon,” said Gigi.
Success appears imminent since Megan Williams took the station’s helm three weeks ago.
Megan has a community radio background from 3CR in Melbourne and has been in Broken Hill for about 12 months, although she was visiting for a few years before that.
“We are, hopefully, strengthening our community by strengthening our community radio,” said Megan.
The turnout showed her that community radio is alive and well and it was good to see young people with fresh ideas.
A 22-year-old rapper called Tactical Neocortex networked at the event and collected paperwork for 2 Dry’s new ‘Pitch a program.’
This is a call-out for new radio shows by people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds who have a knack for gardening or a special interest in music, arts or current affairs. Or a community group which wants to reach more people.
The meet-and-greet was a melting pot of ideas and encouragement.
“I talked to someone who told me he’s a fan before my program’s even created, because he’d heard of my work,” said Tactical.
There was such an air of optimism at the 2 Dry event that Tactical was inspired to quote Kanye West:
“I was never really good at anything except for the ability to learn.”
Other attendees were excited, including Kristy Park.
“It’s been a fantastic event and it was lovely to have the belly dancers come along and add a little bit of zing to the evening and it was lovely to have so many other members of the public coming along and joining in,” she said.
“Everyone was really interested and got involved and we had a great little feed,” said Sandi Hanrahan.
The meet-and-greet attracted new volunteers and well-loved announcer, Adrian Eckert, who has been on air for 30 years, was amazed at the turnout.
“Last year we probably only got half a dozen to 10 members, and no members from the community, where this is 60 plus,” he said.
“With all these people coming today, it’s going to show that we’ve got a great future and that people want to get involved with what they want to hear,” he said.
Adrian has a uniquely relaxed interviewing style and he revealed how he does it.
“It’s probably because I haven’t been trained properly and an interview’s got to be a conversation and, if you put a bit of humour in there, it makes the people relax and it makes it flow a bit better,” he said.
The recording studio is even more relaxing when KC is on duty.
“You can pat him on the head when things are not looking so good,” said Adrian.
“You can yell at him when it all goes wrong,” he joked.
“You know, ‘What did you kick that wire out for?’”
Adrian’s final comments capture what makes Broken Hill’s community radio so special.
“Why did the baked bean family move to Queensland?” he asked.
“Because they want to live in Cairns.”
To join the fun as a volunteer or program-maker, contact the station at (08) 8087 1077 or [email protected]